Good sleep is one of the 5 essential keys to optimal health. I just can’t emphasise enough how important it is. In fact, I’ve even done a entire workshop on it.
After 3 weeks without sleep you die from rampant infection in your blood. Sleep is essential to your immune system.
Sleep is also very important for musculoskeletal pain. Lack of sleep causes shortening and tightness of the muscles and is one of the major contributors to fibromyalgia.
It’s also (perhaps obviously) a major contributor to chronic fatigue syndrome which you may well know is closely linked with fibromyalgia too.
This information sheet is intended to give you a set of natural techniques you can try to improve your sleep.
A spine out of line irritates your nervous system which keeps you awake. There may be pain or there may not. Make sure you are having your spine adjusted and are doing any corrective exercises you require.
Here are some dietary factors that can help:
- Don’t eat low fat. Avoid artificial trans-fats but otherwise, a low-fat diet can be irritating to your brain and stop sleep.
- Eat more magnesium. Magnesium-rich foods include: nuts, beans, seeds, avocados and leafy green vegetables. You may want to take a good-quality magnesium supplement (the best are in powder-form you mix up as a drink).
- Cut out / cut back on grains – especially wheat. Excess grains are a common cause of many health problems including insomnia, aches and pains, and brain fog.
- Take 5-hydroxy tryptophan (5-HTP) – a naturally-occurring amino acid. It works wonders for some people. Try 1 gram 30-60 min before sleeping. You can order it from us. It’s not available in stores as it can only be sold by a practitioner. Alternatively, you can import from overseas for personal use.
Drink no caffeine (Duh!)
For some people, even have one cup of coffee in the morning can cause bad sleep that night. Remember there is caffeine in coffee, tea (including green tea) and cola and ‘energy’ drinks. Beware, you may get a few days of headaches when you first stop!
Many people find chamomile tea before bed helps sleep.
“If we therefore wish for a refreshing slumber, we must begin by avoiding care and anxiety and take sufficient bodily exercise to induce the necessary muscle exhaustion.”
Except from: Home Comforts: Or, Things Worth Knowing in Every Household, edited by By Edwin T. (Edwin Troxell) Freedley, 1878
Effective ways to release stress include meditation, yoga, exercise, walking, playing with pets or children.
There is nothing like the sleep you get after exercise. Do what is reasonable for you.
Get up early, go to bed early
Your body clock is designed to work in rhythm with the day and night. You might go to bed at 10 pm and get up at 6 am. Sleeping in to 9 or 10 will mess with your rhythm.
“Aye, I suppose I could stay up that late.” – James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish mathematical physicist, on being told on his arrival at Cambridge University that there would be a compulsory six o’clock a.m. church service.
Get the early morning sun on your face with a short (or long) walk.
Melatonin is the hormone for sleep and works wonders for some people. I suggest trying it last as the other things above will help with other aspects of your health as well as your sleep if they are the cause of your trouble. You can’t buy it in Australia but you can import for personal use. I recommend www.swansonvitamins.com Item# SWU114.
Avoid blue light before sleep
Yes, it’s true. Blue light stimulates your circadian rhythm to keep you awake. Look out especially for tv and computer light, blue pilot lights on your devices, and ‘cool’ white lights including fluorescents.
See the summary of the workshop for a focus more on sleep than insomnia.